Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sanity: Left Behind

I'll make no secret about it. I frequently wonder what goes on in the mind of the True Believer that makes them reject what most people would call common sense.

I'm not sure what it takes for someone to think that God is telling them to murder their children (1, 2), or that their faith in the literal truth of the bible is so strong that they can justify child molestation. It's enough for them to overlook their blatant hypocrisies when they claim to be pro-life, yet call for assassination of leaders or shooting illegal immigrants on sight. They'll laugh when Mohammed is the victim of satire in cartoons, but God forbid it be Jesus that's the target of fictional books and movies.

And just when I thought they couldn't get any dumber, they announce the plans to release a game based on the left behind series in which players enact virtual spiritual warfare, killing any non-believers they come across. The game, Left Behind: Eternal Forces, is based on the best selling book series.

Although I disagree with people like Jack Thomspon who believe that violent video games should be banned because people aren't able to distinguish fantasy from reality, I'll have to say that this Left Behind game worries me for the simple fact that many of these True Believers have shown an immense lack of being able to seperate the two. Don't think so? Try checking out the Rapture Ready forums which have over 19,000 people that are so sure that the rapture will happen within their lives, that they're making preparations.

But perhaps I'm getting ahead of myself and those 19,000 people aren't really about to do something stupid dispite claims of driving recklessly because they're so sure that God's in charge. After all, the game is only intended for responsible adults that have obviously made it far enough in life to get behind the wheel of a car without having done something stupid, right?

Wrong. The games producers state that they expect that this game should get an E rating, meaning "Everyone" (ages 6 and up), or, at the worst, a T (Teen, 13+) rating.

Hopefully, such things aren't somthing that children would fall for though. Right?

Wrong again. Fundamentalist Christian groups already are advocating violent responses to their percieved sufferings. Ron Luce, the leader of the organization Battle Cry, states:
This is war. And Jesus invites us to get into the action, telling us that the violent—the ‘forceful’ ones—will lay hold of the kingdom.”
Luce also says he plans to launch a blitzkrieg against those that don't share his vision. No Nazi-esque supremacy there.

The organization, Battle Cry, holds Christian concerts with dazzling light shows and imagery of Hummers, and NAVY Seals, as part of their production. One teen at one of their events was spotted wearing a shirt with Jesus on the cross and emblazoned with the motto "Dressed to Kill".

So let us hope that this militaristic movement doesn't have much support behind it. But that hope too would be in vein. A recent concert in Philadelphia had an estimated 17,000 attendees and was opened with a letter from president Bush giving support and encouragement. It followed with a band, Delerious, singing a song featuring the lyrics
“We’re an army of God and we’re ready to die.... Let’s paint this big ol’ town red.... We see nothing but the blood of Jesus....”
Another speaker, Franklink Graham stated
No souls can be saved without the shedding of blood. Blood must be shed!
So it seems that perhaps many Americans are quite adamant about a literal war for Christ. They have no sense of right and wrong, as long as their actions are justified by the Bible. Video games advocating this holy war are now being marketed to this dangerouly unstable crowd.

And there's no need to worry?

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